Poll: Huge Majority of Americans Want Abortion Restrictions

83% Favor Limits; Number Up From Last Year

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After 40 years of legalized abortion in the United States, a huge majority of Americans (83%) favor restricting abortion to specific circumstances.

A Knights of Columbus-Marist poll conducted last month shows that the number of Americans favoring restrictions to abortion has increased four percentage points in the last year (79% to 83%).

Of the 83% who support significant restrictions on abortion, 10% believe abortion should never be permitted; 12% believe abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother; 34% would restrict abortion only to cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother; and 27% would limit abortion to – at most – the first three months of pregnancy.

Just 11% would allow abortion at any time, while 6% would allow it during the first six months of pregnancy.

“After four decades of legalized abortion in this country, Americans have had ample time to understand that abortion has terrible consequences,» said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “They understand abortion’s true legacy – a child loses life, and parents lose a child. And after witnessing the effects of abortion for the past 40 years, Americans are not legally or morally comfortable with that legacy. It is time for our country to chart a new course on this issue – a course that protects both the mother and the child.”

The survey also found that nearly six in 10 Americans (58%) believe abortion is “morally wrong.” And 84% of Americans say laws can protect both mothers and unborn children.

The newly released survey is the latest in a series of polls commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by The Marist Institute for Public Opinion. This KofC-Marist Poll data was gathered via a telephone survey of 1,246 adults residing in the continental United States and has a margin of error of ±2.8 percentage points. Data were collected Dec.4-6, 2012. 

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